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October 02, 2022


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Lunch sounded tasty and I'm glad you got to spend time with YD... your mind seems a little more at ease. :^) Um, I think you guys took our late Pittsburgh summer. It's been 2 weeks since we've had real sun or temps higher than the mid-50s, SO UNLIKE Southwestern PA this time of year!


Our Arizona Cardinals pulled out an unlikely victory today so everyone here and in the Great Northwest is happy. Including Seahawks fans!

DrumMajor Linda in Kansas

Glad you got to spend some time with YD! The meal looks tasty. Lovely family photo. You're happy and even Mari is happy! I didn't notice any break in your posts. Linda in Kansas


Glad Typepad has resolved its problems. I want to go to that British place! We used to have a spot like that here; sadly, it is long gone.

Arkansas Patti

So glad you had a good lunch with YD and got to taste British food. Wish they had something like that here.
Congrats to the Mariners. I thought of you when I heard the news. Keep it going.


While you are romping about in short sleeves, we had our first frost last night. We’ll have to see if it killed our petunia pots last night. It seems early, but not unprecedented.


Sharing a meal with YD and knowing she is okay is comforting. Brits have some very nice delicacies and your British restaurant sounds like a gem. Wedding photos bring back great family memories. Everybody looks fantastic. Mari is definitely in her happy place. Is she purring?


I have always thought of writing some sort of fail safe post that announces my death that would eventually publish if I didn't change the date. But I never do because I'm worried I would forget to move the date back and it would publish as some inopportune point.

Jenni Elyse

I hate when my blog has issues. It's so stressful. I'm always worried I'm going to lose something. I'm glad the issues with Typepad didn't last too long or result in any damage to your blog.

That British restaurant or cafe sounds amazing. I'd love to taste some much of their cuisine, especially Sticky Toffee Pudding. :D I'm glad you had a good time with your daughter and that she invited you and was open with you, even if it wasn't what you wanted to hear.

Ally Bean

Blogging is a way of life after a certain point in time. I know you'd not disappear without an explanation. I'm the same way. I like the photo of your brother's wedding. The girls look lovely in their dresses. Glad this post made it through the system eventually.


I was gone so long again that I didn't know your blog was gone for a bit. haha!
Mari looks so happy to be spoiled again, or still :-)
That restaurant sounds and looks delightful. Your food looks amazing! So happy you got
to go meet up with YD and catch up again with her.

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Book Club Reads

  • Garmus, Bonnie: Lessons in Chemistry: A Novel

    Garmus, Bonnie: Lessons in Chemistry: A Novel
    4 1/2 stars for this quirky, emotional, sad, joyful, fascinating read about chemistry, relationships and life. I don't know how it will work in a Book Club discussion, but I didn't want it to end. It was cheesy and unrealistic at times yet somehow emotionally fulfilling as well. (****)

  • Perkins-Valdez, Dolen: Take My Hand

    Perkins-Valdez, Dolen: Take My Hand
    This beautifully written and intricate book is my first 5 (or 4 1/2) star read for quite a while. It was powerful and filled with fascinating and well-developed characters. I even liked the ending! Jumping between two time periods isn't my favorite style, but the author handled it masterfully. (*****)

  • Haigh, Jennifer: Mercy Street: A Novel

    Haigh, Jennifer: Mercy Street: A Novel
    4 for the writing which was excellent, and 4 for the characters who were interesting and well-developed. 2 for the non-existent plot. The ending of the book left me extremely dissatisfied. Sadly, there are no discussion questions for it which might force me to reflect on the book's messages. (***)

  • Slocumb, Brendan: The Violin Conspiracy

    Slocumb, Brendan: The Violin Conspiracy
    A solid 3 1/2 stars for me, but a disappointment in general. As a former violinist myself, I was excited about the topic. I love mysteries which was what this novel was billed as. (not much of one and very predictable) I found the writing sophomoric and rather repetitive; the topics of slavery and underrepresentation of POC in classical music were compelling though. As always, I'm hoping for an excellent discussion at BC. (***)

  • Tyler, Anne: French Braid: A novel

    Tyler, Anne: French Braid: A novel
    I can see why some might not enjoy this book (not much plot), but I liked Tyler's writing, the complexity of the characters and the storytelling. Families are like a French Braid; you can never really be free of them since "the ripples are crimped in forever." I'm hoping our BC discussion will be enlightening and personal. (***)

  • See, Lisa: The Island of Sea Women: A Novel

    See, Lisa: The Island of Sea Women: A Novel
    Although it wasn't perfect (sometimes hard to follow the timelines), this book was fascinating on a personal, historical and cultural level. I learned so much while suffering through the tragedies and celebrating the joys of the characters. I'm hoping for an insightful discussion at Book Club, as this novel deserves. (*****)

  • Whitehead, Colson: Harlem Shuffle: A Novel

    Whitehead, Colson: Harlem Shuffle: A Novel
    Extremely well-written, atmospheric and full of fascinating characters and history. Being a mystery reader, I would have preferred more plot though. If you haven't read Whitehead before, I recommend "The Nickel Boys" instead. Fortunately, the book seems like it will elicit a decent discussion. (****)

  • Klune, TJ: The House in the Cerulean Sea

    Klune, TJ: The House in the Cerulean Sea
    This book was hard to rate (***1/2): heartwarming, yet cheesy and predictable. Imaginative, but also preachy. It reads like a YA novel. There were some wonderful characters if you enjoy fantasy. I think it will be nearly impossible to discuss as a Book Club read. (***)

  • Towles, Amor: The Lincoln Highway: A Novel

    Towles, Amor: The Lincoln Highway: A Novel
    This is a exquisitely crafted book and extremely well-written. I didn't always like the way it jumped from one person to another, especially when I was very engaged in the last story. It didn't turn out the way I wanted it to, but the ending was also beautiful in its own painful way. 4 1/2 stars. (*****)

  • Wang, Qian Julie: Beautiful Country: A Memoir

    Wang, Qian Julie: Beautiful Country: A Memoir
    Although it had some fascinating and illuminating moments, this memoir of a young Chinese immigrant facing poverty and prejudice was ultimately a let down. Part of it was the writing and lack of proofreading(too many grammar mistakes) while the rest related to my confusion about whether I admired or disliked the author. She was often mean and dishonest. Much of the time I didn't find her sympathetic. (***)